The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Men’s Olympic All-Around Final

First the news that Simone has withdrawn from the women’s AA tomorrow. That means that Rebeca Andrade will now enter as the top qualifier and that Jade Carey (!) will compete in the all-around as the top US gymnast who had been two-per-country-ed. This Olympics is just the weirdest.

Now to the men’s AA. Dare we hope that today’s action proves slightly less stressful than yesterday? Admittedly, that may be too much to ask for with Danny Death Wish rolling around here.

The big question is whether pre-event favorite and world champion Nikita Nagornyy will indeed fulfill the prophecy, or whether top qualifier Hashimoto Daiki has found consistency with his 88s in time to win a home gold medal. The smart money is probably also on Xiao Ruoteng for a medal, but I wouldn’t say no to an exceptional performance from Sun Wei to shake things up. As for Dalaloyan, I don’t imagine he’s going to be able to put together the floor routine to get himself up with the top athletes, but I also didn’t imagine he would still be able to walk, so…

Also Ellie Black pulled out of the AA so Lieke Wevers is going in. It’s fine. We’re all fine.

“The individual medals will be cracked open and handed out.” Oh. John. That’s not how medals work.

Rotation 1

Kovtun starts us on vault with a DTY, medium hop back, solid direction, some piking.

Fraser – FX – double front 1/2 out, stuck – 2.5 to rudi, another stick – double double tuck is short, step forward – front 2/1 to half, stuck – gives away too much on 2/1, chest forward and a step – FTDT dismount, hop forward. Some good passes, some tenth give-aways. 14.100

Yusof takes Tsuk double pike to his hands and knees. Lee Junho struggles on his Kas 2/1, lands forward and jars himself, large hop and bend over and leg-up balance check.

Sun – FX – front 2/1 to rudi, hop back – double double layout is short, two lunges forward – double double tuck is awesome, good stick – 2.5 to front full, little hop – 2/1, stuck, pretty – 3/1, a little short, hops it around. A couple great passes but also gave away a ton on a few of them. 14.500 is high for me for that large error on double double layout.

Mikulak stays on pommel horse for a good routine.

Xiao – FX – punch randi, little hop – 3.5 to 1/2, stuck – double double tuck, medium hop back – 2.5 to front 2/1, gets a little scrappy, hop to the side – 2/1, stuck – 3/1, hop back. No large errors there, but lots of hopping on each one.

Malone through a hit horse as well and then almost doesn’t stick his dismount with a lean.

Long wait for Xiao’s 14.700.

Nagornyy – FX – double front pike 1/2 out, hop forward – front 2/1 full to double front, step OOB – 2.5 to front full to rudi, hop back, which is the pass he intended there that he didn’t do in team – double double tuck, hop – 2/1, stuck landing, didn’t decide to keep his “yes,and” 3/1 – 1/2 in, 1/2 out, hop back. Will be a big score because Nagornyy, but he could have done more.

Onder bottoms out on pommel horse

14.433 for Nagornyy. Door opened. And they took 0.2 OOB for him, for that second foot when he turned.

Hashimoto – FX – opens triple double, small bnounce back – front full to randi, another slide, not too bad – 2.5 to front 2/1, hop – 1.5 to rudi, stuck with a little lean – 2/1, hop – 3/1, stuck landing. Excellent start. Kept the bounces small enough on those passes.

14.833 is the leading floor score so far. Kitazono also with a 14.500 on horse to lead that rotation.

Dalaloyan – FX – front lay to double front pike, hop forward – ront full to randi, hop back – 2.5 to rudi, protecting legs on every landing but fine – 2/1, leans back out of it to be like, what are you saying about I stuck, – 3/1 with a bounce backward and OOB. 14.050

Nagornyy down .633 on his qualification score. Hashimoto up .133. So advantage Hashimoto so far. Xiao sits in second with a solid 14.700 for his floor routine, and then we have a big tie on 14.500 with Sun Wei and Kitazono’s pommel horse and Caio Souza’s rings.

Now we move to rotation 2, with the top two groups on horse and rings. Pray for me.

Rotation 2

Nearly a stick from Tang CH on vault on his Kas 1.5, leans and then a little step at the end.

Sun – PH – good scissor up to handstand to start – successfully through his russian travels – lovely routine, good layout position, stays on, no leg breaks, no major errors. 14.966

Mikulak with a little hop back on hsi double double on rings, but I saw one handstands over there that was reeee-ough.

Souza – VT – Kas 2/1, crossover lunge backward and OOB, but still solid. The first two rotations are going to make this look like he’s the GOAT.

Xiao is through pommel horse successfully as well. he had a moment or two where he got low and a little sluggish but he’ll definitely take it. 14.700

Malone – SR – good maltese work to start, straight positions – up to planche, straddle to to immediate planche is hit – controls his handstands – doubel double tuck, bounce back.

Nagornyy – PH – he had a little more hip angle through his pommel horse work but does well to straight it out on his russians, starts generating a lot more pike and losing rhythm toward to end but works through it. 14.266 It’s fine.

Pakhniuk with a lower landing on his Kas 1.5, lunge back and out of bounds.

Hashimoto – PH – opening with flare circles so it already counts more than any other routine, I’m sorry I don’t make the rules, those are them – nice toe point and hip position throughout – excellent. 15.166. he’s on fire.

Kitazono – SR – L sit to start right to straddle planche, comfortable – pikes and tucks to handstand, controlled – double double layout dismount, stuck. He showed up today as well. REALLY short routine, not a lot of content, but executed comfortably. 9.000 E score for 13.500.

Dalaloyan has a hesitation up to handstand on horse but otherwise through it. 13.900

Hall with a step back on double double tuck rings dismount.

Fraser has come trouble on Russians, got really low and was scraping along the horse, saved it and then immediately comes off after that

Asil will finish out the rotation for us with his rings – really nice high planche position, some handstand hesitation – ohhhh double double layout dismount, short as shorrrt, hands down.

Kovtun ends things for the PBars group, stutz to one, then additional 1/4, keeps it going with a arch – peach to one, holds it – diam work is sublime – makuts well done – lots of challenging pirouettes, has a could leans and walks and crossed legs on them, but still strong – double front, hop back

After 2
Hashimoto 29.999
Sun 29.466
Xiao 29.400
Souza 28.700
Nagornyy 28.699

Rotation 3

Malone – VT – pretty large lunge on his Kas 1.5, would have liked to control it more, a bit deep

Xiao – SR – good maltese work, nice and flat, right in line – holds straddle planche – ends up lowering into crosses – small hesitation on hs – double double tuck, small hop. Solid. 14.533

Kitazono – VT – really does have to work to save that handspring 2.5 because he landed so very low, but hops it around to minimize the hop, but yeah he handed like a stack of pancakes. Still gets away with 14.666.

Dauser trying to make me (and John) finally learn the difference between him and Herder. He had one large correction with 80 thousand hand placements, good stuck dismount.

nagornyy – SR – He went 14.333 in qualification and can do more – does have one archy swingy handstand, otherwise solid, double double tuck, bounce back. He’s doing OK but is not ON. Still gets 14.666.

Asil vaults a big double front pike 1/2 out, hop back – chest up well

Mikulak with a Kas 1.5, good work, holds the stick with a lean

Hashimoto – SR – good tucks and pikes into cross, a bit high – hits a straddle planche – doesn’t have the same D on this one – double double tuck, bounce back, and an extra step.

Soares finishes HB with a great DLO 1/1, stuck.

Leeee-ong wait for hashimoto’s score.

Karimi sticks his double front 1/2 out on PBars.

Kovtun – HB – layout tkatchev, clean – layout tkatchev 1/2, hit – yam is close to the bar with a bit of struggle swinging out – stalder tkatchev and stalder tkatchev 1/2 – tak full quite late – tak 1/2, just a bit shy – DLO 2/1, stuck

Pakhniuk dies on PBars on an attempted stutz to one.

They finally got a 13.533 for Hashimoto on rings. His lead is gone, as expected, but maybe not expected by THAT much.

Dalaloyan survives another landing, hits double double tuck with a hop back on rings.

All the other events have been done for 18 months but because of that delay on Hashimoto’s D score, we still have a ton of rings left.

They’re going to inquire that score.

Fraser’s comfort and stability in those malteseseses is a thing. holds straddle planche directly to L sit – doubel end up short on his double double tuck though, ches tdown lunge forward.

Fraser will nonetheless take a 14.433

Sun – SR – planche lowers to maltese, really nice – was going ideally until right toward the end with a handstand struggle into a short doubel double with a hop forward, but should still be solid if the other routine scores are any indication. Or not. 14066 for him is not qhat he was looking for.

After 3
Xiao – 43.933
Hashimoto – 43.532
Sun – 43.532
Nagornyy – 43.365
Souza -43.200

Rotation 4

Nagornyy – VT – he needs a gain here – that will work. Double front 1/2 out, basically sticks. Just a little flinch and arm wave. 14.900

Hashimoto – VT – Kas 2/1 with a large lunge back and out of the area. He’s giving his things away now.

What happened to Onder? He’s scratching.

Souza – HB – Koilman, solid – layout tkatchev, hit – tkatchev 1/2, solid – strouble on Tak 1/1 sttempt, looked like he went over the wrong way – yam to gienger, like the combo – tak 1/2 – DLO 2/1, holds the stick there.

Hashimoto gets 14.700, could have been a lot worse.

Dalaloyan – VT – handspring down front puck – bounces back and then has a couple additional hops as he’s off balance on his hop back.

Oh Artur, I know you’re protecting your Achilles, but that didn’t make it any less funy looking.

Kitazono – PB – healy – peach 1/2 with some hand splacements – straddle to long swing, good – stutz, comfortable – tippelt, solid amplitude – bhavsar, smooth swing – doubel front 1/2 out, shuffle back

Fraser bounds forward 16 times into the next country on vault. And doesn’t do the Kas 2/1, only the 1.5

Dalaloyan still got credit for a pikled shape, so good to know that nothing matters .

Sun – VT -a hit Kas 2.1, great twisting position, good distance, small hop to the side, a little forward

Karimi is off HB. Had to happen sooner or later.

14.900 for Sun! Matches Nagornyy’s score. Did not expect it to be this high.

Xiao – VT – Kas 2/1, finishes pretty well upright, but a larger lunge back and possible OOB. 14.700.

Kitazono’s 15.066 on PBars helps.

Xiao will have a couple tenths on Sun, and he will have a couple tenths on Nagornyy and Hashimoto after this.

Tang – HB – layout tkatchev to lay tkatchev 1/2 – HUGE Yam that isn’t ugly, thank you – tkatchev and tkatchev 1/2 – DLO 1/1 dismount is awesome. Loved it. 14.766.

And now he makes Dauser’s Yamawaki look like an idiot. Dauser promptly falls on his Kovacs out of shame.

Our next 48-minute score is Asil’s Pbars. Eeesh. 12.600.

Mikulak – PB – healy is good – peach 1/2, no trouble – front straddle to swing through, gets it – bhavsar is solid – tippelt, comfortable – stutz, holds it – doubel front 1/2 out is very short with a bound forward. 14.966

Malone – PB – hits underswing mount – a little piked on his makuts – struggles up to handstand with an arch – tippelt is solid – healy – diam, good – stutz, solid – double pike, lunge bounce back, multiple steps – hit but labored, especially in the beginning

After 4
Xiao 58.633
Sun 58.432
Nagornyy 58.265
Hashimoto 58.232

Rotation 5

Kitazono – HB – Yam – tak 1/2, a bit late – Cassina, gets it – Kolman, solid – german giant revoluation – DLO 2/1, stuck, nice. 14.400

Hashimoto – PB – healy, good – peach 1/2, a little iffy – huge front straddle 1.25 – bhavsar, comfortably done – tippelt, fine – stutz, holds handstand well, dshows toe point – double front 1/2 out was SUBLIME, great height, stuck.

15.300. WHERE WAS THAT IN TF JAPAN. Game on for the two Chinese AAers.

Dalaloyan – PB – a little short on that peach 1/2 position – straddle is good – healy – stutz, good – doubel front 1/2 out, stuck. A little akward at the beginning, but nice second half. 15.033

Tang with some beautiful landings on floor. He’s having A DAY.

Mikulak – HB – Cassina d hit – Kolman, good – layout tkatchev, tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/2, not bad – small hesitation in stalder – DLO 2/1, large lunge back.

14.366 for Tang on floor. 13.633 for Mikulak on HB which seems a little harsh.

Malone – HB – just does get his cassina

Sun – PB – double back to arms, good – doubel pike to arms, super high – front straddle 1.25 – bhavsar, smoothly swung through – tippelt, long wait before healy – double front 1/2 out, lands short and hops forward, tries to cover but a larger deduction there – looks like his everything hurts. 14.966 isn’t bad but he can do better.

Head in knees, mildly dying on the ground.

Xiao – PB – double tuck, nice – peach 1/2, some adjustment – peach – double tuck from swing to arms – front straddle – tippelt, precise to handstand, a little slow – doubel front 1/2 out, slide to the side

Hashimoto will move back head of Sun after this rotation.

15.366 for Xiao gives him about 4 tenths on Hashimoto, but Hashimoto has the HB advantage.

Nagornyy – PB – peach to one, holds it to healy – peach 1/2, a little wonky – makuts, hit – diam, nice and precise – doubel front 2/1 out, hops the feet together. Pretty good.

Big 15.400 for Nagornyy puts him into 2nd.

After 5:
Xiao 73.999
Nagornyy 73.665
Hashimoto 73.532
Sun 73.398

Final Rotation

Dalaloyan – HB – layout kovacs, good – kovacs, hit – layou ttkatchev – layou ttkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/2 – yam, hit – DLO 1/1, stuck landing. Well, Icarus survived. 14.133.

He finishes 86.248, will be out of the medals but you know, living.

Love the Gaylord 1/2 from Fraser, a nice finish on the day. Dlo 2/1, step back.

Sadly for Tang, he has to finish his day on pommel horse – does like 1.2 skills but he’s done with a hit.

Mikulak finishes floor, 3/1 with a hop to the side, but he did sit his double front pike in this one. So no hit AA at the Olympics.

Sun – HB – layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, hit – tak 1/1, very late – layout tkatchev 1/2, hit – yam, good toe point, some piking – DLO1/2, chest forward, hop and a little lean to hold it.

14.400 and 87.798. A really good day for him, even if it will probably end up in the Sun Special, 4th place.

Xiao – HB – layou ttkatchev, nice – layout tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/2, pretty late – tkatchev 1/2, hit – tak full is late but not tooo bad – yam is very low and piked – DLO1/1, stuck landing.

Kitazono – FX – Double front pike 1/2, hop back – double double, another hop – randi, larger bounce back – 1.5 to front 2/1, hop – finishes stuck 3/1.

Nooo Lee CK’s pommel horse, get it out of your suystem now –

Just 14.066 for Xiao! He goes ahead of Sun, but in the words of Elfi Schlegel, “BEATABLE.”

It’s a 0.3 ND deduction for Xiao. More neutral deduction drama????

Nagornyy – HB – yam, solid – layou ttkatchev – layout tkatchev 1/2, nice – tak 1/1, pretty late – tak 1/2, also late – tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – a little crooked on pirouette – DLO 2/1, chest down and some small steps, encapsulates his day. Good but not Nagornyy.

Nagornyy 14.366 which will not pass Xiao. Ends up .034 behind.

Hashimoto needs 14.533. Doable.

Hashimoto – HB – tak 1/2, medium – Cassina, hit – Kolman, solid – layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, hit – tak 1/1, quite late – yam, a little low – giant full, slightly angled – DLO 2/1, didn’t stick, almost did but couldn’t hold on, hop forward.

Xiao Ruoteng is inquiring. LOLOLLLOLLL of course.

Taking their sweet time on Hashimoto’s score.

14.933! He does it by 4 tenths!

A worthy winner. This is correct. Xiao’s inquiry put immediately in the fire.

FINAL
Hashimoto 88.465
Xiao 88.065
Nagornyy 88.031
Sun 87.798
Kitazono 86.698
Dalaloyan 86.248

And then a large gap to the rest.

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